Should Carson Palmer be benched?

Christian Petersen

Some Arizona Cardinals fans think so.

If you want to see where All World Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald ranks this season in receptions and yards you better have some time on your hands to scroll down past the top ten of the league and well into the thirties and forties.

And if looking for fellow wide receiver Andre Roberts and tight end end Rob Housler statistics?

Bring a lunch because they're evidently in the Federal Witness Protection System.

In fact, the best passing plays the team has had this early part of the season seems to be screens out of the backfield to Andre Ellington and dumps over the middle to overachieving TE Jim Dray.

Which, in Bruce Arians' vertical offense is obviously the undesired effect.

But how much of this is quarterback Carson Palmer's fault? Should he be benched for the most popular player on a NFL team (the back up QB), Drew Stanton,  if he struggles next week against the San Francisco 49ers? It seems the current rage to bench your starter IF he plays poorly AND your team is posting a losing record, which the Cardinals are not. Minnesota Vikings Christan Ponder benched for Matt Cassel, who may be sitting on the pine because of newly acquired Josh Freeman -- who was incidentally replaced by Mike Glennon. Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans sat down after three interceptions in last week's 49ers game. Venerable Eli Manning hitting the daily NY news as a failure after the Giant's 0-5 start. Brandon Weeden, Chad Henne, etc.. Does Palmer fit the bill, especially after the what some fans are remembering last seasons 4-1 start behind the disastrous John Skelton -Kevin Kolb duo?

Let's look at the tale of the tape through 5 games:

Skelton- Kolb

119 completions 175 attempts 1190 yards 7 Tds 3 INTs   4-1 won loss record

Carson Palmer

106 completions 180 attempts 1185 yards 5 Tds 9 INTs   3-2 won loss record

Other than the interceptions, the stats are nearly evenly matched. And if you follow Palmer's career you realize that part and parcel of his being the starter is INTs at probably the most inopportune time. The Oakland Raiders were calling for his head at this same time last year when they started 1-4, yet Palmer still had over 4,000 yards.

But still, the 2013 Palmer is exceeding his career INT rate and has a smaller Yards Passing Attempt than Skelton- Kolb last season and even less than Ponder this season, which considering the differences between the Vikings and Cardinals offenses is astounding.

Much has been made of the intricate offense Arians runs and the time for QB and WRs to be on the same wavelength, but Bruce has already stated that none of his teams have taken this long to connect to the playbook.

So, the question comes around again: If Palmer plays poorly versus San Francisco, should he be replaced by Drew Stanton?

Let your voice be heard in the poll and comments below.

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